An Argentinian judge's fearlessly replies in the negative to a petition for crucifixes to be removed from the nation's courtrooms, as the cross is a symbol of discrimination towards non-Christians.
An Argentinian judge of criminal cases, Javier Anzoategui, gave a lengthy response to the petitioners who wished to have religious images removed from the country’s courts, as they are a form of fomenting discrimination against non-Christians. This iconoclastic attack was not being directed against the goddess Justice who bothers no one, but obviously at the crucifix prominently enthroned over the judge’s bench. In his sentence, the judge reminded the Association for Civil Rights and the Association of Penal Thinking that on several scores, the crucifix holds a favorite place in Argentina’s courts of justice.
This is a constant tradition in the history of the Supreme Court dating exactly 150 years. Originally, the nation was born Catholic, inherited from its mother country of Spain, and to effectively remove the memory of the Galilean, one would have to efface countless names of provinces, cities, rivers and mountains of this land. On the score of the legislation, the constitution demanded that Catholicism be maintained as the State religion from the beginning, and also, only the Catholic religion be given public juridical personality on a par with the nation and the provinces.
To the objection of discrimination towards non-Christians, the judge explained that a crucifix hanging over the judge has never meant that the judges themselves were Catholic or that Catholic judges would unjustly treat non-Christians, besides the fact that there existed very efficient laws against any type of partiality and discrimination. Moreover, what they present as a flaw—to be explicit, amongst the followers of Christ—in reality turns to the benefit of citizens since Catholic judges are very aware that they are not only subject to human, but also to divine, laws.
The exact words of Judge Anzoategui's concluding statement
It may happen that one can have endless worries and preventions against the Catholic Church, and many of these may very well be justified since the Church is composed mostly of sinful men. But the point is that we are not dealing with the Church in relation to the State, but exclusively with the Person of Christ. In other words, the question is whether we can admit that the nation of Argentina as such may have Christ for its model or its example. This has been the case, as we have seen, from the origins of the Fatherland, and no one who is seeing it objectively should take offense of this. Perhaps some would think that the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection are not real facts, but only a myth. Even in this case, one should admit that this myth is not only beautiful but eminently moralizing. In the worse hypothesis, it would be an absolutely innocuous myth.
I say that it is eminently moralizing, because the cross places before the eyes of the judges—during the trial and prior to dictating the sentence—the exemplary image of the innocent under condemnation; and because, moreover, it places before the eyes of the accused the one who suffered the greatest injustice and triumphed over it.
I affirm that, in the last instance, it would be innocuous because it does not seem that the presence of the cross can damage anyone. Certainly, it will not offend the Christians who adore it; it should not perturb the Jews because the person Crucified is, after all, one of them; not the Moslems since Christ is a great prophet for them; finally not even the agnostics, because it would be strange that one could deem pernicious the example of a just man, condemned to death by the spurious alliance of the political and religious power of the time, accused of crimes such as preaching the love of neighbor and of enemies, raising the dead to life, giving sight to the blind, healing the lepers and paralytics, privileging the poor and the recluse, denouncing the hypocrisy of the governors, proclaiming that truth alone makes us free, exalting humility, saving a woman from stoning and exhorting that we pardon those who offend us.
I observe, however, that the interest in suppressing from the tribunals the image of the Crucifix, and not of the goddess Justice, seems to manifest the conviction that only the latter is a mythological figure.
1 Main source of story and quotes is from the SSPX’s South America District’s website.